Blond, Christopher Le

, was an artist of whose life we have very few particulars, till he was known at Rome, in the year 1716, being at that time painter to count Martinetz and his reputation, as a good painter of portrait in miniature, was well established in Italy. By the solicitation of Overbeke, he was induced to go to Amsterdam, and in that city was employed to paint small portraits for bracelets, rings, and snuff-boxes and although they were painted in water-colours, yet the colouring was as lively and as natural as if they had been painted in oil. However, as he found his sight much impaired by the minuteness of his work, he discontinued water-colour painting, and attempted the use of oil, with a reasonable degree of success. After he had resided for some years in the Low Countries, he went to England, and set up a new method of printing mezzotinto plates in colours so as to imitate the pictures of which they were copies. In this manner he executed in England several large plates, from pictures of the greatest masters, and disposed of the prints by lottery. But those who obtained the prizes (Mr. Strutt says) appear not to have held them in any very great estimation. “The prints,” he adds, “certainly possess some merit, | exclusive of their novelty; but, in general, the colours are flat and dirty the effect is neither striking nor judiciously managed and the drawing is frequently very incorrect, especially in the extremities of his figures.” Mr. Pilkington speaks of them with greater approbation “The artist,” he says, “imitated his models with so much skill, such exact resemblance, such correctness of outline, such similarity of colour and expression, that at first they amazed every beholder who viewed them at a proper distance and many of those prints are still extant, which are much esteemed by persons of good taste.” And Mr. Wai pole observes, that some heads, coloured progressively, according to their several gradations, bear witness to the success and beauty of his invention. He had another merit to the public, with which few inventors begin; for he communicated his secret in a thin quarto, entitled “Coloritto, or the harmony of colouring in painting reduced to mechanical practice, under easy precepts and infallible rules.” His method was performed by several mezzotinto plates for one piece, each expressing different shades and parts of the piece in different colours. He was not, however, it is said, the original inventor of that manner of managing colours, but took it from Lastman and others, who, with, much greater regularity of morals, equal capacities, and more discreet conduct, had before undertaken it without success. Le Blond, whose head was continually full of schemes, next set on foot a project for copying the cartoons of Raphael in tapestry, and made drawings from the pictures for that purpose. Houses were built and looms erected at the Mulberry Ground at Chelsea but the expences being too great, or the contributions not equal to the first expectations, the scheme was suddenly defeated, and Le Blond disappeared, to the no small dissatisfaction of those who were engaged with him. From hence he went to Paris, where, Basan informs us, he was in the year 1737; and in that city he died, 1740, in an hospital. Le Blond was also author of a treatise, in French, on ideal beauty. It was published in 1732, and has since been translated into English.